The National Rifle Association’s political arm will launch its first ad campaign in support of Donald Trump, featuring a Benghazi survivor attacking Hillary Clinton for allowing his friends to die in the 2012 terrorist attack in Libya.
The NRA’s Political Victory Fund will spend more than $2 million to air the 30-second spot, making it one of the largest independent expenditures on behalf of Trump so far this election. A convicted Ponzi schemer’s $50 million campaign and an almost $3.8 million expenditure by the Great America PAC are the only two larger expenditures listed so far for Trump.
The ad, which will run on national TV in the battleground states of Colorado, Ohio, Nevada, Florida, Virginia and Pennsylvania, features Marine Corps veteran Mark Geist, who was stationed in Benghazi as a security contractor at the time of the attacks that killed four Americans.
Rather than mention guns, the ad focuses on the attack, which has become a partisan crusade to undermine Clinton and her tenure as President Obama’s secretary of state.
“A lot of people say they’re not going to vote this November because their candidate didn’t win,” Geist says in the ad. “Well, I know some people who won’t be voting this year either,” he adds while walking through a cemetery.
“Hillary as President? No thanks,” he continues. “I served in Benghazi. My friends didn’t make it. They did their part. Do yours.”
The NRA’s ad launch comes just one day after the House released its final report on the attack in Benghazi. After spending years and more then $7 million of taxpayer money, the House Select Committee on Benghazi — the eighth Congressional committee to investigate the attack — found no new evidence of wrongdoing by Clinton’s State Department.
That hasn’t stopped the nation’s largest gun lobby from continuing to discuss the incident — one of its favorite lines of attack against Clinton. In March, it released a video also featuring Geist discussing the 13-hours he spent at the American diplomatic compound in Libya. And in January, NRA board member Ted Nugent called for Obama and Clinton to be “tried for treason & hung” for issuing a “stand down” order during the September 11, 2012, attack, a common conservative myth.
The announcement also comes as reports of the Trump’s campaign financial woes make headlines. As of the end of May, Trump’s campaign held just $1.3 million compared to Clinton’s $42 million.
Chris Cox, chairman of the NRA Political Victory Fund, told USA Today that his group is prepared to spend more this year than the $13.6 million it spent on the 2012 presidential election.
“The stakes in this election for law-abiding gun owners have never been higher, and the NRA will use all available resources to ensure that voters understand the consequences of a Hillary Clinton presidency on their fundamental right of self-defense,” he said.